Hitting the Campus Board // Zach Lerner

This East coast summer thing is still kicking my ass. While my motivation for climbing outside in 90% humidity is non-existent, fortunately, my motivation for training in the gym is in full swing.  I’ve been on a campusing kick lately, which is good because I’ve been lazy this past year and could use some strength and power training. I’ve been practicing what I’ve been preaching (see my June blog); namely, I set up a schedule with a few of my climbing friends and we’ve designated several days a week for specific training activities. I wouldn’t say campusing is strength of mine, but it’s certainly not a weakness either. Regardless, the first step in a successful training regimen is goal setting. My main goal is simple: 1-5-9 (based on standard 22cm rung spacing). This is a pretty benchmark measure of campusing proficiency, and I think it is time I made it happen.

This is a great reference for campus training and I would recommend checking it out


…but I thought I’d also share what I’ve been doing personally to meet my goal:

I usually warm-up bouldering then do some easy “laddering” on the big rungs.

1 – 1 – 1 – 1 Up/Down

Then I make attempts at my target, daily goals (e.g. 1-5-8), 2x leading on each arm

1 – 5 – 8 Up

Then I’ll mix up the reaches and attempt something like 1-3-7, and doing every exercise twice leading with each arm

1 – 3 – 7 Up

Next up is lock-off laddering, which consists of skipping every other rung and pausing mid-pull

1 – 3 – 5 – 7 Up/Down

Finally, finish the workout with as many consecutive 1-5 touches as possible (usually 5-7 on each arm).

1 – 5 Until failure, Both Sides

This is a pretty short workout. It takes about an hour. The basic rule of thumb is you want to end your workout before feeling tired; otherwise you leave yourself vulnerable to injury.

Here’s a video of me struggle up 1-5-8. Man, 1-5-9 feels like a mile away still! Maybe next month…